Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Weekly Obsession, August 26, 2014

Hey y'all!  It's been a couple of weeks, I decided not to do one last week because I wasn't in a good head space and honestly was really reeling from the prior week's incidents.  This week will be much more upbeat and exciting.

This week's obsession is MY NEW JOB!!! Yesterday was my first day and as you may know, I've been looking for jobs all Summer.  I am very grateful to have found a job after just a few months because I know some people have looked for over a year.  I want to tell you about what I'll be doing and about the great stuff at this place.

I'll be an internal sales agent/professional at a large, local company called Red Ventures.  When you call to inquire or buy products/services from one of our partners (I believe we have 17), you might be talking to one of us.  I know, I know, that doesn't sound great or interesting at all, and I certainly wouldn't have thought "Hooray, I'm working for Red Ventures sitting at a desk on the phone all day!" had I not heard about the famously awesome work environment and the good money I can make.

Since yesterday was the first day, we went on an extended tour of the large three building, one parking deck campus.  I work at the headquarters, but there's a North Campus as well as one about four hours east.  The amenities of this place are nothing short of incredible, so brace yourself because I'm about to list them all (I might miss a few): yoga/zumba studio, spin studio, bowling alley, biergarten, gas grills, pool tables, basketball court, walking track, ping-pong tables, gym (with weights, cardio machines, etc), company subsidized bistro, company subsidized food court, company subsidized coffee shop, putting green, decks with great views everywhere, free Keurig coffee/tea/hot chocolate, aerobics studio, and that's all I can think of right now so there might be more.  Whoa, that's a lot of stuff, right?!  But there's also a delightful workplace culture that I've never been in before.  Everyone here (that I've met so far) is upbeat and happy to be there.  The company is very good about helping you attain your goals by coaching, they're huge on coaching, but they also don't treat you  like children and give you a lot of freedom with your schedule including overtime.

I've never worked for anyone who cared so well for their employees.  They had a big partnership with a company and the through a quick series of events that company no longer existed.  So they had over  200 employees that had nothing to sell because they were with that company that was no more.  Instead of just laying off all those employees, they shifted stuff around and absorbed those displaced employees into other partnerships.  Most companies (especially ones that are this large) would not have done that, they would have just been like "Oh well, bye y'all."  It's made evident how well cared for us employees are and the CEO himself came and chatted with us yesterday to welcome us to the company and share his vision as well as answer any questions we may have had.  I don't think most CEOs would do that, and be as humble and genuine as he is.

In short: I am so excited about learning more (four weeks of training), I've already learned so much and can't wait to learn more.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Weekly Obsession, August 12, 2014

This week's obsession isn't gonna be fun or lighthearted, it's pretty serious and scary.  Typically I use this blog as a means to escape and talk about silly things; I am black and always will be, but here I don't have to always be the only black person in the room and to always be reminded of that.  But not today.  Today this is about race, specifically black people and the treatment we receive from the police.

Growing up I didn't get what my parents meant when they'd say stuff about being treated differently because of my blackness; I think to a certain extent I wanted to pretend to have the same privilege white people have of not constantly being reminded of their race.  I'm am constantly reminded of my blackness, even here in this urban coffee shop, I'm fairly certain I'm the only black person here if not the only person of color.  PoC (Person/People of Color) are constantly made aware (and are taught to always be aware) of our brownness, there is never a time in mainstream America that we're not aware of our race.  With PoC there are all these stigmas and statistics set against us that we don't want to be true, that are hard to swallow, that we fight against, that we don't want to become, but that are ever present.  One of the biggest ones on my mind currently is the amount of police violence against black men and women and children!  It's terrifying and this systematic, racist shit needs to stop.

Since July 17th, in less than a month, there have been five reported occurrences of police brutality towards black men, women, and children.

Y'all, this is fucking ridiculous.  We have a fucking black president, we could have our first woman president in the next few years and this type of police brutality looks strikingly similar to the time of the Civil Rights Movement.

It might not be well known that the origins of the US Police Force point to keep blacking and other  PoC (then not thought of as people)  in their place, i.e. with their slave masters or away from all the white people.  Unfortunately this mentality of keeping PoC in line and protecting white people at all costs seems to be upheld even over 300 years later.

The most recent occurence (that I'm aware of) is of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18 year old SHOT TEN TIMES by the police.  The community of the victim has responded the way many do with signs, with gatherings in memorial of the young man.  In these gatherings, these people have been tear gassed!  Meanwhile there are (WASPs, White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) people protesting the funerals of dead soldiers and they haven't seen any tear gas.  Do you see a problem?!

There are literally white people walking around stores with guns hanging from their backs just living their fucking privileged lives while the John Crawfords of the world(number four from above) hold a toy gun and get killed.  There are literally white men walking into schools and movie theaters who get better treatment than black kids just walking down a street.  There are (white/straight/male) misogynists such as Elliot Rodger who literally had a fucking manifesto about killing women who would not have sex with him that got more sympathy and understanding than Eric Garner (number one from above) whose worst crime was selling untaxed cigarettes and asking the cops to leave him alone for breaking up a fight.  Do you see?

It's disgusting, but mostly it's terrifying.  I have two younger brothers (who, obviously, are black) and many black and brown cousins who I'm so scared will be harmed or killed by the police simply for being out in public with brown skin.  That's a fear that I literally walk around with every fucking day. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't carry this anxiety about whether my brothers and cousins are being treated not just fairly, but like actual human beings.  I am always scared to get that call.

There's a lot going on in every corner of the world and for those who like to distance themselves from  it, I don't blame you, but just remember that some people can't.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weekly Obsession, August 5, 2014

This week's obsession isn't anything new to you or me, but within the past few weeks I've become more interested in (read: obsessed with) it and have actually spent hours (seriously) on it in any given night.  YOUTUBE!!!  I've always used YouTube as more of a tool rather than for entertainment purposes, but times are a-changin'!  Here are the YouTube channels I'm subscribed to and why I like them.  In no particular order (actually, kinda alphabetical order).

This YouTuber has a variety of videos but most of them are just like a vlog.  She shares her thoughts on different subjects: love, family, friendship, singlehood, whatever.  She's very positive and has encouraged me to get in touch with my creative side.

I really enjoy BuzzFeed and can spend ample time on the site, but I haven't spent as much time on this channel as I would have thought.  It still is fun to check out some of the videos, I like random trivia.

This is one of my favorites.  Aside from her outstanding hair, she's funny and smart and inspiring.  I like her mix of thought provoking videos and lighthearted, funny ones.  She was already doing pretty well for herself, when she made a Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls video, she blew up!

This is the above's hair channel.  She has dreads and has had them for around ten years.  She makes videos on how to do different updos with locs.  She's a huge reason why I've decided to grow my hair out and loc it.  Her tutorials show how versatile locs can be and go against the stigma of dreads being dirty and unkempt.  She's basically one of my hair idols.

This has actually been made into a movie and I am exceedingly excited about going to see it.  It started off as mock movie preview, but (many) people responded so positively to it, that the writer made it into an actual movie that'll be coming out this October in select theaters.  It's incredibly fantastic to see black people represented in an honest, positive light and in a movie about black people that isn't about slavery!  I'm crazy excited to see this movie.

She is the creator and writer and star of my favorite web-series to date, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.  Since that show, she's seen a lot of success including writing for some new television shows.  I also really want to be her friend.

I'm going to clump a few of these together.  This is an a Capella group who I have loved from the beginning.  Their arrangements are spectacular and their voices and vocal percussion are sensational.  Kevin Olusola is their vocal percussionist and he is a phenomenal musician who plays cello as well.  I like to pretend like I'm their friends when I watch their PTXVlogs.

This young woman is responsible for answering those burning question you might have, but don't have the gumption to actually ask.  She makes sex education videos on a variety of topics.  She a flaming feminist, which I love, and provides factual information sex/sexuality/relationships/feminism/LGBTQ/self-esteem.  Her channel is a really great resource.

I'll admit that I haven't spent much time on this channel, but I do follow her, Hannah Hart, on other social medias.  Her channel is about fun and food.

I've mentioned before how much I love this artist; his voice is perfection.  So I subscribe to his channel.  He just came out with a new music video and it emotes all the feels.

This is another YouTuber who I think I'd actually be great friends with.  Her comedy videos are always on point and she serves as a source for hairspiration for me.

This is another channel I haven't spent much time on, but I've only been following him for a couple days.  He's been in collaboration videos with other's I follow more intently, but I'm sure it's good stuff!

This is a new one for me as well, but I've already invested a lot of time on her channel.  I literally just notice a pattern with my subscriptions: mostly smart women.  She falls well into this category as she supports what she says with sited information.

This is one of the first, if not the first, YouTube channel I followed.  These are two guys from the above Pentatonix and they are just funny and talented and I want to be their best friend.  They are actually the inspiration for my Weekly Obsession blog idea!

I've looked at zero videos on her channel, but FranchescaLeigh told me to so I did.  I do love her style with clothes and hair and find her to be such a funny lady.  Also her mom is Diana Ross, so she's got diva running through her veins.

I've seen him on other channels I follow so I subscribed and it turns out he's funny all by himself too!  He's one of the YouTubers who's inspired me to get my creative juices flowing.

There you have it, my favorite YouTubers!  I spend hours watching and re-watching their videos, going deep into their channel archives.  I've been seriously thinking about and dreaming up a YouTube channel I do, and they are all my inspirations.

What are your favorite channels to follow on YouTube?